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2.
Nature ; 607(7917): 119-127, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1915276

ABSTRACT

The recent emergence of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron (B.1.1.529 lineage) variants possessing numerous mutations has raised concerns of decreased effectiveness of current vaccines, therapeutic monoclonal antibodies and antiviral drugs for COVID-19 against these variants1,2. The original Omicron lineage, BA.1, prevailed in many countries, but more recently, BA.2 has become dominant in at least 68 countries3. Here we evaluated the replicative ability and pathogenicity of authentic infectious BA.2 isolates in immunocompetent and human ACE2-expressing mice and hamsters. In contrast to recent data with chimeric, recombinant SARS-CoV-2 strains expressing the spike proteins of BA.1 and BA.2 on an ancestral WK-521 backbone4, we observed similar infectivity and pathogenicity in mice and hamsters for BA.2 and BA.1, and less pathogenicity compared with early SARS-CoV-2 strains. We also observed a marked and significant reduction in the neutralizing activity of plasma from individuals who had recovered from COVID-19 and vaccine recipients against BA.2 compared to ancestral and Delta variant strains. In addition, we found that some therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (REGN10987 plus REGN10933, COV2-2196 plus COV2-2130, and S309) and antiviral drugs (molnupiravir, nirmatrelvir and S-217622) can restrict viral infection in the respiratory organs of BA.2-infected hamsters. These findings suggest that the replication and pathogenicity of BA.2 is similar to that of BA.1 in rodents and that several therapeutic monoclonal antibodies and antiviral compounds are effective against Omicron BA.2 variants.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents , COVID-19/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/pharmacology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized , Antibodies, Neutralizing/pharmacology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Viral/pharmacology , Antibodies, Viral/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cricetinae , Cytidine/analogs & derivatives , Drug Combinations , Hydroxylamines , Indazoles , Lactams , Leucine , Mice , Nitriles , Proline , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Triazines , Triazoles
3.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 3824, 2022 Jul 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1915273

ABSTRACT

Omicron variant strains encode large numbers of changes in the spike protein compared to historical SARS-CoV-2 isolates. Although in vitro studies have suggested that several monoclonal antibody therapies lose neutralizing activity against Omicron variants, the effects in vivo remain largely unknown. Here, we report on the protective efficacy against three SARS-CoV-2 Omicron lineage strains (BA.1, BA.1.1, and BA.2) of two monoclonal antibody therapeutics (S309 [Vir Biotechnology] monotherapy and AZD7442 [AstraZeneca] combination), which correspond to ones used to treat or prevent SARS-CoV-2 infections in humans. Despite losses in neutralization potency in cell culture, S309 or AZD7442 treatments reduced BA.1, BA.1.1, and BA.2 lung infection in susceptible mice that express human ACE2 (K18-hACE2) in prophylactic and therapeutic settings. Correlation analyses between in vitro neutralizing activity and reductions in viral burden in K18-hACE2 or human FcγR transgenic mice suggest that S309 and AZD7442 have different mechanisms of protection against Omicron variants, with S309 utilizing Fc effector function interactions and AZD7442 acting principally by direct neutralization. Our data in mice demonstrate the resilience of S309 and AZD7442 mAbs against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variant strains and provide insight into the relationship between loss of antibody neutralization potency and retained protection in vivo.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/pharmacology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Drug Combinations , Humans , Membrane Glycoproteins , Mice , Neutralization Tests , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Viral Envelope Proteins
4.
Cell Rep ; 39(6): 110799, 2022 05 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1881766

ABSTRACT

Although vaccines and monoclonal antibody countermeasures have reduced the morbidity and mortality associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, variants with constellations of mutations in the spike gene jeopardize their efficacy. Accordingly, antiviral interventions that are resistant to further virus evolution are needed. The host-derived cytokine interferon lambda (IFN-λ) has been proposed as a possible treatment based on studies in human coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) patients. Here, we show that IFN-λ protects against SARS-CoV-2 B.1.351 (Beta) and B.1.1.529 (Omicron) variants in three strains of conventional and human ACE2 transgenic mice. Prophylaxis or therapy with nasally delivered IFN-λ2 limits infection of historical or variant SARS-CoV-2 strains in the upper and lower respiratory tracts without causing excessive inflammation. In the lung, IFN-λ is produced preferentially in epithelial cells and acts on radio-resistant cells to protect against SARS-CoV-2 infection. Thus, inhaled IFN-λ may have promise as a treatment for evolving SARS-CoV-2 variants that develop resistance to antibody-based countermeasures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Interferons , Mice , Mice, Transgenic
5.
Cell Rep ; 39(11): 110954, 2022 Jun 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1866958

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) leads to shutoff of protein synthesis, and nsp1, a central shutoff factor in coronaviruses, inhibits cellular mRNA translation. However, the diverse molecular mechanisms employed by nsp1 as well as its functional importance are unresolved. By overexpressing various nsp1 mutants and generating a SARS-CoV-2 mutant, we show that nsp1, through inhibition of translation and induction of mRNA degradation, targets translated cellular mRNA and is the main driver of host shutoff during infection. The propagation of nsp1 mutant virus is inhibited exclusively in cells with intact interferon (IFN) pathway as well as in vivo, in hamsters, and this attenuation is associated with stronger induction of type I IFN response. Therefore, although nsp1's shutoff activity is broad, it plays an essential role, specifically in counteracting the IFN response. Overall, our results reveal the multifaceted approach nsp1 uses to shut off cellular protein synthesis and uncover nsp1's explicit role in blocking the IFN response.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viral Nonstructural Proteins , Cell Line , Humans , RNA Stability , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism
6.
Sci Transl Med ; 14(657): eabm4908, 2022 Aug 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1846321

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 B.1.621 (Mu) variant emerged in January 2021 and was categorized as a variant of interest by the World Health Organization in August 2021. This designation prompted us to study the sensitivity of this variant to antibody neutralization. In a live virus neutralization assay with serum samples from individuals vaccinated with the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna mRNA vaccines, we measured neutralization antibody titers against B.1.621, an early isolate (spike 614D), and a variant of concern (B.1.351, Beta variant). We observed reduced neutralizing antibody titers against the B.1.621 variant (3.4- to 7-fold reduction, depending on the serum sample and time after the second vaccination) compared to the early isolate and a similar reduction when compared to B.1.351. Likewise, convalescent serum from hamsters previously infected with an early isolate neutralized B.1.621 to a lower degree. Despite this antibody titer reduction, hamsters could not be efficiently rechallenged with the B.1.621 variant, suggesting that the immune response to the first infection is adequate to provide protection against a subsequent infection with the B.1.621 variant.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viral Envelope Proteins , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Membrane Glycoproteins/genetics , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vaccination , Viral Envelope Proteins/genetics
7.
Med (N Y) ; 3(4): 262-268.e4, 2022 04 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1829236

ABSTRACT

Background: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant has proven to be highly transmissible and has outcompeted the Delta variant in many regions of the world. Early reports have also suggested that Omicron may result in less severe clinical disease in humans. Here, we show that Omicron is less pathogenic than prior SARS-CoV-2 variants in Syrian golden hamsters. Methods: Hamsters were inoculated with either SARS-CoV-2 Omicron or other SARS-CoV-2 variants. Animals were followed for weight loss, and upper and lower respiratory tract tissues were assessed for viral loads and histopathology. Findings: Infection of hamsters with the SARS-CoV-2 WA1/2020, Alpha, Beta, or Delta strains led to 4%-10% weight loss by day 4 and 10%-17% weight loss by day 6. In contrast, infection of hamsters with two different Omicron challenge stocks did not result in any detectable weight loss, even at high challenge doses. Omicron infection led to substantial viral replication in both the upper and lower respiratory tracts but demonstrated lower viral loads in lung parenchyma and reduced pulmonary pathology compared with WA1/2020 infection. Conclusions: These data suggest that the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant may result in robust upper respiratory tract infection, but less severe lower respiratory tract clinical disease, compared with prior SARS-CoV-2 variants. Funding: Funding for this study was provided by NIH grant CA260476, the Massachusetts Consortium for Pathogen Readiness, the Ragon Institute, and the Musk Foundation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Cricetinae , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Virulence , Weight Loss
8.
Med (N Y) ; 3(5): 309-324.e6, 2022 05 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1796324

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Since the emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in 2019, viral variants with greater transmissibility or immune-evasion properties have arisen, which could jeopardize recently deployed vaccine- and antibody-based countermeasures. METHODS: Here, we evaluated in mice and hamsters the efficacy of a pre-clinical version of the Moderna mRNA vaccine (mRNA-1273) and the Johnson & Johnson recombinant adenoviral-vectored vaccine (Ad26.COV2.S) against the B.1.621 (Mu) variant of SARS-CoV-2, which contains spike mutations T95I, Y144S, Y145N, R346K, E484K, N501Y, D614G, P681H, and D950N. FINDINGS: Immunization of 129S2 and K18-human ACE2 transgenic mice with the mRNA-1273 vaccine protected against weight loss, lung infection, and lung pathology after challenge with the B.1.621 or WA1/2020 N501Y/D614G SARS-CoV-2 strain. Similarly, immunization of 129S2 mice and Syrian hamsters with a high dose of Ad26.COV2.S reduced lung infection after B.1.621 virus challenge. CONCLUSIONS: Thus, immunity induced by the mRNA-1273 or Ad26.COV2.S vaccine can protect against the B.1.621 variant of SARS-CoV-2 in multiple animal models. FUNDING: This study was supported by the NIH (R01 AI157155 and U01 AI151810), NIAID Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Response [CEIRR] contracts 75N93021C00014 and 75N93021C00016, and the Collaborative Influenza Vaccine Innovation Centers [CIVIC] contract 75N93019C00051. It was also supported, in part, by the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Center for Research on Influenza Pathogenesis (HHSN272201400008C) and the Japan Program for Infectious Diseases Research and Infrastructure (JP21wm0125002) from the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED).


Subject(s)
2019-nCoV Vaccine mRNA-1273 , COVID-19 , Influenza, Human , mRNA Vaccines , 2019-nCoV Vaccine mRNA-1273/immunology , 2019-nCoV Vaccine mRNA-1273/pharmacology , Ad26COVS1 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/pharmacology , Cricetinae , Humans , Mice , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , mRNA Vaccines/immunology , mRNA Vaccines/pharmacology
9.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-332884

ABSTRACT

Prolonged infections in immunocompromised individuals may be a source for novel SARS-CoV-2 variants, particularly when both the immune system and antiviral therapy fail to clear the infection, thereby promoting adaptation. Here we describe an approximately 16-month case of SARS-CoV-2 infection in an immunocompromised individual. Following monotherapy with the monoclonal antibody Bamlanivimab, the individual's virus was resistant to this antibody via a globally unique Spike amino acid variant (E484T) that evolved from E484A earlier in infection. With the emergence and spread of the Omicron Variant of Concern, which also contains Spike E484A, E484T may arise again as an antibody-resistant derivative of E484A.

10.
Nature ; 605(7911): 640-652, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1773987

ABSTRACT

The global emergence of many severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants jeopardizes the protective antiviral immunity induced after infection or vaccination. To address the public health threat caused by the increasing SARS-CoV-2 genomic diversity, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases within the National Institutes of Health established the SARS-CoV-2 Assessment of Viral Evolution (SAVE) programme. This effort was designed to provide a real-time risk assessment of SARS-CoV-2 variants that could potentially affect the transmission, virulence, and resistance to infection- and vaccine-induced immunity. The SAVE programme is a critical data-generating component of the US Government SARS-CoV-2 Interagency Group to assess implications of SARS-CoV-2 variants on diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics, and for communicating public health risk. Here we describe the coordinated approach used to identify and curate data about emerging variants, their impact on immunity and effects on vaccine protection using animal models. We report the development of reagents, methodologies, models and notable findings facilitated by this collaborative approach and identify future challenges. This programme is a template for the response to rapidly evolving pathogens with pandemic potential by monitoring viral evolution in the human population to identify variants that could reduce the effectiveness of countermeasures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Biological Evolution , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (U.S.) , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pharmacogenomic Variants , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , United States/epidemiology , Virulence
11.
Cell Rep ; 39(3): 110688, 2022 04 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1763614

ABSTRACT

The emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant with a surprising number of spike mutations raises concerns about reduced sensitivity of this virus to antibody neutralization and subsequent vaccine breakthrough infections. Here, we infect Moderna mRNA-vaccinated or previously infected hamsters with the Omicron BA.1 variant. While the Moderna mRNA vaccine reduces viral loads in the respiratory tissues upon challenge with an early S-614G isolate, the vaccine efficacy is not as pronounced after infection with the Omicron variant. Previous infection with the early SARS-CoV-2 isolate prevents replication after rechallenge with either virus in the lungs of previously infected hamsters, but the Omicron variant replicates efficiently in nasal turbinate tissue. These results experimentally demonstrate in an animal model that the antigenic changes in the Omicron variant are responsible for vaccine breakthrough and re-infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cricetinae , Disease Models, Animal , Mesocricetus , Vaccination , Vaccines, Synthetic , mRNA Vaccines
12.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-330772

ABSTRACT

Omicron variant strains encode large numbers of changes in the spike protein compared to historical SARS-CoV-2 isolates. Although in vitro studies have suggested that several monoclonal antibody therapies lose neutralizing activity against Omicron variants1-4, the effects in vivo remain largely unknown. Here, we report on the protective efficacy against three SARS-CoV-2 Omicron lineage strains (BA.1, BA.1.1, and BA.2) of two monoclonal antibody therapeutics (S309 [Vir Biotechnology] monotherapy and AZD7442 [AstraZeneca] combination), which correspond to ones used to treat or prevent SARS-CoV-2 infections in humans. Despite losses in neutralization potency in cell culture, S309 or AZD7442 treatments reduced BA.1, BA.1.1, and BA.2 lung infection in susceptible mice that express human ACE2 (K18-hACE2). Correlation analyses between in vitro neutralizing activity and reductions in viral burden in K18-hACE2 or human Fc-gamma receptor transgenic mice suggest that S309 and AZD7442 have different mechanisms of protection against Omicron variants, with S309 utilizing Fc effector function interactions and AZD7442 acting principally by direct neutralization. Our data in mice demonstrate the resilience of S309 and AZD7442 mAbs against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variant strains and provide insight into the relationship between loss of antibody neutralization potency and retained protection in vivo.

13.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-330133

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the cause of the ongoing coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic. Despite its urgency, we still do not fully understand the molecular basis of SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis and its ability to antagonize innate immune responses. SARS-CoV-2 leads to shutoff of cellular protein synthesis and over-expression of nsp1, a central shutoff factor in coronaviruses, inhibits cellular gene translation. However, the diverse molecular mechanisms nsp1 employs as well as its functional importance in infection are still unresolved. By overexpressing various nsp1 mutants and generating a SARS-CoV-2 mutant in which nsp1 does not bind ribosomes, we untangle the effects of nsp1. We uncover that nsp1, through inhibition of translation and induction of mRNA degradation, is the main driver of host shutoff during SARS-CoV-2 infection. Furthermore, we find the propagation of nsp1 mutant virus is inhibited specifically in cells with intact interferon (IFN) response as well as in-vivo, in infected hamsters, and this attenuation is associated with stronger induction of type I IFN response. This illustrates that nsp1 shutoff activity has an essential role mainly in counteracting the IFN response. Overall, our results reveal the multifaceted approach nsp1 uses to shut off cellular protein synthesis and uncover the central role it plays in SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis, explicitly through blockage of the IFN response.

15.
Viruses ; 14(3)2022 03 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1732253

ABSTRACT

Assays using ELISA measurements on serially diluted serum samples have been heavily used to measure serum reactivity to SARS-CoV-2 antigens and are widely used in virology and elsewhere in biology. We test a method using Bayesian hierarchical modelling to reduce the workload of these assays and measure reactivity of SARS-CoV-2 and HCoV antigens to human serum samples collected before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Inflection titers for SARS-CoV-2 full-length spike protein (S1S2), spike protein receptor-binding domain (RBD), and nucleoprotein (N) inferred from 3 spread-out dilutions correlated with those inferred from 8 consecutive dilutions with an R2 value of 0.97 or higher. We confirm existing findings showing a small proportion of pre-pandemic human serum samples contain cross-reactive antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 S1S2 and N, and that SARS-CoV-2 infection increases serum reactivity to the beta-HCoVs OC43 and HKU1 S1S2. In serial dilution assays, large savings in resources and/or increases in throughput can be achieved by reducing the number of dilutions measured and using Bayesian hierarchical modelling to infer inflection or endpoint titers. We have released software for conducting these types of analysis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Bayes Theorem , COVID-19/diagnosis , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Humans , Pandemics , Seasons , Workload
16.
Cell Rep ; 38(7): 110394, 2022 02 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1719436

ABSTRACT

The emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant (B.1.617.2) raises concerns about potential reduced sensitivity of the virus to antibody neutralization and subsequent vaccine breakthrough infections. Here, we use a live virus neutralization assay with sera from Pfizer- and Moderna-vaccinated individuals to examine neutralizing antibody titers against SARS-CoV-2 and observe a 3.9- and 2.7-fold reduction, respectively, in neutralizing antibody titers against the Delta variant compared with an early isolate bearing only a D614G substitution in its spike protein. We observe similar reduced sensitivity with sera from hamsters that were previously infected with an early isolate of SARS-CoV-2. Despite this reduction in neutralizing antibody titers against the Delta variant, hamsters previously infected (up to 15 months earlier) with an early isolate are protected from infection with the Delta variant, suggesting that the immune response to the first infection is sufficient to provide protection against subsequent infection with the Delta variant.


Subject(s)
Adaptive Immunity , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Cricetinae , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Reinfection/immunology , Reinfection/transmission , Reinfection/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Load
17.
J Virol ; 95(24): e0136821, 2021 11 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1691427

ABSTRACT

Severe cardiovascular complications can occur in coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) patients. Cardiac damage is attributed mostly to the aberrant host response to acute respiratory infection. However, direct infection of cardiac tissue by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) also occurs. We examined here the cardiac tropism of SARS-CoV-2 in spontaneously beating human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs). These cardiomyocytes express the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor but not the transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2) that mediates spike protein cleavage in the lungs. Nevertheless, SARS-CoV-2 infection of hiPSC-CMs was prolific; viral transcripts accounted for about 88% of total mRNA. In the cytoplasm of infected hiPSC-CMs, smooth-walled exocytic vesicles contained numerous 65- to 90-nm particles with canonical ribonucleocapsid structures, and virus-like particles with knob-like spikes covered the cell surface. To better understand how SARS-CoV-2 spreads in hiPSC-CMs, we engineered an expression vector coding for the spike protein with a monomeric emerald-green fluorescent protein fused to its cytoplasmic tail (S-mEm). Proteolytic processing of S-mEm and the parental spike were equivalent. Live cell imaging tracked spread of S-mEm cell-to-cell and documented formation of syncytia. A cell-permeable, peptide-based molecule that blocks the catalytic site of furin and furin-like proteases abolished cell fusion. A spike mutant with the single amino acid change R682S that disrupts the multibasic furin cleavage motif was fusion inactive. Thus, SARS-CoV-2 replicates efficiently in hiPSC-CMs and furin, and/or furin-like-protease activation of its spike protein is required for fusion-based cytopathology. This hiPSC-CM platform enables target-based drug discovery in cardiac COVID-19. IMPORTANCE Cardiac complications frequently observed in COVID-19 patients are tentatively attributed to systemic inflammation and thrombosis, but viral replication has occasionally been confirmed in cardiac tissue autopsy materials. We developed an in vitro model of SARS-CoV-2 spread in myocardium using induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes. In these highly differentiated cells, viral transcription levels exceeded those previously documented in permissive transformed cell lines. To better understand the mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 spread, we expressed a fluorescent version of its spike protein that allowed us to characterize a fusion-based cytopathic effect. A mutant of the spike protein with a single amino acid mutation in the furin/furin-like protease cleavage site lost cytopathic function. Of note, the fusion activities of the spike protein of other coronaviruses correlated with the level of cardiovascular complications observed in infections with the respective viruses. These data indicate that SARS-CoV-2 may cause cardiac damage by fusing cardiomyocytes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Myocytes, Cardiac/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Animals , Cathepsin B/metabolism , Cell Fusion , Chlorocebus aethiops , Embryonic Stem Cells/metabolism , Exocytosis , Humans , Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells/metabolism , Microscopy, Confocal , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Vero Cells , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Virus Internalization , Virus Replication
18.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-320927

ABSTRACT

Viruses spread between hosts through particles, but within hosts, viral genomes can spread from cell to cell through fusion, evading antiviral defenses and obviating costly infectious virion production1-3. Billions of electromechanically coupled cardiomyocytes (CMs) make myocardium inherently vulnerable to pathological electromechanical short circuits caused by intercellular viral spread 4-6. Beyond respiratory illness, COVID-19 affects the heart7 and cardiac injury and arrhythmias are serious public health concerns8-12. By studying myocardium of a young woman who died suddenly, diagnosed postmortem with COVID-19, we discovered highly focal myocardial SARS-CoV-2 infection spreading from one CM to another through intercellular junctions identified by highly concentrated sarcolemmal t-tubule viral spike glycoprotein. SARS-CoV-2 permissively infected beating human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-CMs building multinucleated cardiomyotubes (CMTs) through cell type-specific fusion driven by proteolytically-activated spike glycoprotein. Recombinant spike glycoprotein, co-localizing to sarcolemma and sarcoplasmic reticulum, produced multinucleated CMTs with pathological structure, electrophysiology and Ca2+ excitation-contraction coupling. Blocking cleavage, a peptide-based protease inhibitor neutralized SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein pathogenicity. We conclude that SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein, efficiently primed, activated and strategically poised during biosynthesis, can exploit the CM’s inherent membranous connectivities to drive heart damage directly, uncoupling clinically common myocardial injury from lymphocytic myocarditis, often suspected but rarely confirmed in COVID-19.

19.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-309780

ABSTRACT

Dissecting the evolution of memory B cells (MBCs) against SARS-CoV-2 is critical for understanding antibody recall upon secondary exposure. Here, we utilized single-cell sequencing to profile SARS-CoV-2-reactive B cell subsets in 42 COVID-19 patients. We isolated thousands of B cells in multiple distinct subsets specific to the SARS-CoV-2 spike, endemic coronavirus (HCoV) spikes, nucleoprotein (NP), and open reading frame 8 (ORF8). Spike-specific cells were enriched in the memory compartment of acutely infected and convalescent patients 1.5–5 months post-infection. With severe acute infection, we identified substantial populations of endemic HCoV-reactive antibody-secreting cells with highly mutated variable genes, indicative of preexisting immunity. Finally, MBCs exhibited maturation to NP and ORF8 over time relative to spike, especially in older patients. Monoclonal antibodies against these targets were non-neutralizing and non-protective in vivo. These findings reveal considerable antibody adaptation to non-neutralizing antigens during infection, emphasizing the importance of vaccination for inducing neutralizing spike-specific MBCs.Trial Registration Number: This clinical trial was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov with identifier NCT04340050, and clinical information for patients included in the study is detailed in Table S1–S3.Funding: This project was funded in part by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID);National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant numbers U19AI082724 (P.C.W.), U19AI109946 (P.C.W.), U19AI057266 (P.C.W.), the NIAID Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance (CEIRS) grant numbers HHSN272201400005C(P.C.W.). N.W.A. was supported by the Multi-disciplinary Training program in Cancer Research (MTCR) - NIH T32 CA009594. A.J. and R.P.J were supported by federal funds from the NIAID, NIH, and Department of Health and Human Services under Contract HHSN272201700060C. F.K and F.A. were funded by the NIAID CEIRS contractHHSN272201400008C, Collaborative Influenza Vaccine Innovation Centers (CIVIC) contract 75N93019C00051 and the generous support of the JPB foundation, the Open Philanthropy Project (#2020-215611) and other philanthropic donations. Y.K. and P.H.were funded by the Research Program on Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Disease grant (JP19fk0108113) and the Japan Program for Infectious Diseases Research and Infrastructure (JP20fk0108272) from the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED), NIAID CEIRS contract HHSN272201400008C, and CIVIC contract 75N93019C00051. D.F., C.N, Y.D., and P.D.H, were supported by NIAID contracts HHSN272201700060C and 75N93019C00062. M.S.D. and E.S.W. were supported by NIH grants R01 AI157155 and F30 AI152327, respectively.Conflict of Interest: Several antibodies generated from this work are being used by Now Diagnostics in Springdale, AR for the development of a diagnostic test. M.S.D. is a consultant for Inbios, Vir Biotechnology, NGM Biopharmaceuticals, and Carnival Corporation, and on the Scientific Advisory Boards of Moderna and Immunome. The Diamond laboratory has received funding support in sponsored research agreements from Moderna, Vir Biotechnology, and Emergent BioSolutions.Ethical Approval: All studies were performed with the approval of the University of Chicago institutional review board IRB20-0523 and University of Chicago, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Washington University in St. Louis institutional biosafety committees. Informed consent was obtained after the research applications and possible consequences of the studies were disclosed to study subjects.

20.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-308391

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc as worldwide SARS-CoV-2 infection, hospitalization, and death rates climb unabated. Effective vaccines remain the most promising approach to counter SARS-CoV-2. Yet, while promising results are emerging from COVID-19 vaccine trials, the need for multiple doses and the challenges associated with the widespread distribution and administration of vaccines remain concerns. Here, we engineered the coat protein of the MS2 bacteriophage 1,2 and generated nanoparticles displaying multiple copies of the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein. The use of these nanoparticles as vaccines generated high neutralizing antibody titers and protected Syrian hamsters 3 from a challenge with SARS-CoV-2 after a single immunization with no infectious virus detected in the lungs. This nanoparticle-based vaccine platform thus provides protection after a single immunization and may be broadly applicable for protecting against SARS-CoV-2 and future pathogens with pandemic potential.

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